How to reduce risk of getting cancer

by Elena INSPIRE HEALTH May 13, 2021

How to reduce risk of getting cancer

Can you do anything to change your odds of getting cancer? It turns out that up to 40% of all cancer deaths are preventable. So what are the factors contributing to cancer and what should you do to prevent it? 

There is a huge variety of sources of information on the subject of cancer and lots of research is available from reputable sources. Please note, I’m not an oncologist or a final authority on that subject. I’m just briefly sharing with you what I found during my research and confirmed with information from the World Health Organization website. I encourage you to go through your own research, to talk to your physician and to draw your own conclusions.

According to accepted research today, there are many risk factors that could lead to cancer. Chief among them is:

  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol use
  • Dietary factors, including low fruit and vegetable intake
  • Physical activity
  • Overweight and obesity

Other important cancer risk factors include exposure to:

  • Physical carcinogens, such as UV and ionizing radiation;
  • Chemical carcinogens, which includes benzo (a)pyrene, formaldehyde, food contaminants and asbestos;
  • As well as biological carcinogens, such as certain infections by viruses, bacteria and parasites.

It all sounds really complicated. What should we actually do? 

Stop smoking, even as a second hand smoker. Tobacco causes a variety of cancer types, and it’s just not worth doing. Check out Alan Carr's book "The Easy Way to Stop Smoking". Highest success rate of any method in the world. 

Drinking alcohol is also a big risk factor. Alcohol affects a number of the body's systems, and over time, excessive consumption can lead to problems primarily with the liver, but also the kidneys, stomach and esophagus.

Choose healthy food. Shift your consumption of fats away from saturated fats to unsaturated, and eliminate trans-fats altogether. Increase your consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. Limit the intake of free sugars and pay attention to your sodium intake. Reduce or eliminate the amount of microwave popcorn, canned foods and processed meats in your diet. Avoid burned foods, like charred meats from barbeque. Eating hot foods can increase your risks of cancer. Also, while heating up your food, make sure it doesn’t come in direct contact with materials such as Styrofoam, Saran Wrap, plastic plates and utensils. These materials often release compounds under heat, that are not designed to be consumed.

Gradually and safely increase the amount of your physical activity. Make sure that you are at your healthy body weight. Take active steps to get there by changing your habits and overall lifestyle.

Consider vaccination against some viruses like Hepatitis A and B , especially if you travel, and HPV, which has been linked to a very high incidence of specific cancers.

Reduce your exposure to water, soil and air pollution as much as you can. For example, move out from the big city, when possible, or at least do any jogging and cycling away from congested city roads.

Educate yourself on occupational carcinogens and follow guidelines for safety. You might also consider a change of career if your are regularly exposed to known carcinogens.

Radiation is energy emitted in form of waves or rays. Some forms of radiation are linked to specific cancers. Protect yourself from solar radiation, specifically UVA and UVB, by using sunblock, specialized clothing and sunglasses. Avoid exposure to midday sun, but also take  steps to minimize your potential occupational and home environment hazards. 

Through combined efforts, the following suggestions could help with cancer prevention. That might just be worth it!

Please, let me know in the comments what topics you would like me to cover next.



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